Hot weather, fire danger confronts Southland

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A hot spell marked by dangerously hot weather and an increased risk of fire will get underway today amid high temperatures, low humidity and very dry vegetation.

The National Weather Service in Oxnard said the weather will have the potential of causing heat-related illnesses, particularly among infants and the elderly, the homeless, outdoor workers, and anyone taking part in outdoor activities.

The elevated fire danger will result from hot temperatures, low humidity and very dry fuels, it said. Humidity levels will range from single digits to mid teens, according to the NWS.

Forecasters blamed the hot spell on an upper-level ridge of high pressure combined with weakening onshore flow.

“There is an outside chance of dangerously hot conditions developing between Wednesday and Thursday,” according to an NWS statement.

In Orange County, where temperatures are generally lower than in L.A. County, the NWS issued a heat advisory scheduled to be in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 9 p.m. Thursday, but it canceled it early this morning.

Meteorologists at the NWS monitoring station in San Diego said that Orange County highs will reach the mid and upper 90s and get close to 100 in some locations.

The NWS forecast a combination of sunny and partly cloudy skies in L.A. County and highs of 75 at LAX; 76 in Avalon; 84 on Mount Wilson; 86 in Long Beach and downtown L.A.; 90 in San Gabriel; 92 in Burbank; 97 in Saugus; 99 in Woodland Hills; and 100 in Palmdale and Lancaster. Temperatures will climb a few degrees Wednesday and begin slipping back on Thursday, when highs will be around today’s levels.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in Orange County and highs of 75 in San Clemente, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach; 82 on Santiago Peak; 86 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 88 in Irvine and Fullerton; 89 in Mission Viejo and Anaheim; 90 in Yorba Linda; and 91 in Fremont Canyon and Trabuco Canyon. Temperatures will climb a few degrees Wednesday before beginning a slow retreat Thursday.

NWS meteorologist Curt Kaplan said the coming days would not produce any heat records and that the warmest conditions would not last long enough to be termed a heat wave. But temperatures will reach several degrees above normal. By Friday, he said, temperatures will drop 5-9 degrees.

The NWS urged residents to protect themselves and their loved ones over the hot spell by staying hydrated, wearing light clothing, avoiding the midday sun, checking on friends and neighbors — especially the elderly — and never leaving children or the elderly in cars parked in the heat, even with widows cracked open.

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